Generation Z and spiritual wellness The Famuan – Famuan

Millennials are showing increasing interest in spirituality. Photo courtesy Refinery29

Teens in 2020 are trading in their parents Bibles, crucifixes and holy water for Tarot cards, crystals and sage.

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, only about 52% of millennials say that they believe in God with absolute certainty and about 41% of millennials think that religion is an important aspect in their lives.

So, why are millennials straying from traditional religious doctrines and leaning toward more free spirited spiritual identifications? What is it about spirituality that is so attractive to the younger generations?

Ayanna Foster, a 21-year-old psychology student at Florida A&M University, felt as though her disconnect to the church was a factor in her waivering religious beliefs.

I grew up questioning everybody including God and I honestly didnt find a church I could relate to until I was 19, which was a big struggle for me, Foster said. Not having a church that spoke to my heart and not feeling like I was being good enough as a Christian played a big part in me feeling lost.

Fosters story is one that mirrors those of many millennials and kids of Generation Z growing up in a fundamentally religious household and straying from the path that was laid before them by their parents.

I realized that I dont have a specific belief, Foster explained. But I realized I dont have to put a title on it. I believe in astrology, spirituality, witchcraft and God. I talk to my guides, I talk to God. I talk to my ancestors. Thats just what it is. I guess Im just a free spirit.

It can be noted that some of the strict teaching in many religions do not align with the current progressive ideals of young adults we see today. The upcoming generations are ones setting out to demolish every problematic ism the same isms that are found within the sacred texts of the religions they followed growing up.

Social media plays a vital role in the spreading of these spiritual beliefs and practices.

Brittany, a worker at locally owned metaphysical store Stone Age who declined to provide her last name, has seen firsthand the effect that social media has on young peoples spiritual beliefs.

Spiritual objects have become more popular with social media like TikTok and Twitter, Brittany said. We had a lot of people coming in asking about Tarot cards, pendulums and moldavite.

Moldavite, a forest green rock formed by the impact of a meteorite over 15 million years ago, surged in popularity on the social media platform TikTok as hundreds of thousands of videos were created dubbing the rock the worlds most powerful crystal.

Every single day we were getting phone calls asking if we sell moldavite and where it could be bought, Brittany said. The whole market bought moldavite and could barely keep stock because of importing issues and shortages.

The power of social media on the spiritual and religious beliefs of young people shouldnt be overlooked.

Foster feels as though social media helped to further propel her into her spiritual journey.

I follow many spirituality pages that educate me and give their experiences about their journeys, Foster said. Maybe tell me things I didnt know that make me wanna pick up a book or get on google and learn more about it. Maybe I saw something that I didnt understand and then Ill get on Twitter and itll explain it deeper for me. Or Ill go on YouTube and watch others talk about their spiritual journeys and deeper explanations of spirituality.

Millennials are continuing to carve out their own spiritual path by any means necessary and this shift is anything but unprecedented.

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Generation Z and spiritual wellness The Famuan - Famuan

COLUMN/PERSPECTIVE: The spiritual experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail – Brunswick News

The Apostle Paul saw the light on the road to Damascus.

The Rt. Rev. Frank Logue and his wife, Victoria, have seen it repeatedly on the Appalachian Trail.

Unlike Paul, the Logues were not blinded by what they saw but the trail has spoken to them about the beauty of creation and, like Paul, theyre written about it.

The Logues are coauthors of several trail guides, including Appalachian Trail Hiker: Trail-Proven Advice for Hikes of Any Length and Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes. They also wrote and photographed, Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

He likened it to telling people where the trails greatest hits are located if they dont have the time to hike the entire 2,200 miles from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine, as they once did seven months to the day, from March 2 to Sept. 2 in 1988.

As with many people, that hasnt been enough. Theyve gone back several times to hike sections.

Places you may not know to do, but places we think are worth the hike, he said of the books.

Asked if he had only one hike left, where would he go, Logue said, Id go to western Maine and the last section of the trail, he said. It goes through timberland, probably the remotest spot on the trail.

But he said Georgia has places just as stunning.

Thirty miles north of Blood Mountain is as pretty as it gets, he said.

Victoria Logue said she and her former Boy Scout husband were equally eager to hike the trail.

My family camped. My father was in the Navy from New England to Hawaii, and they saw a lot of the outdoors at his duty stations, she said.

On the trail, the Logues had one small tent and all the weather.

They were snowed in a couple of days at Rainbow Spring Campground in North Carolina and farther up the trail an April snow chased them into a barn with gaps in its walls. They had the company of 13 scouts and their leaders.

We were forced to leave because we ran out of food, she said.

They soon found clear hiking because it hadnt snowed a few miles down the trail.

They kept hiking north and by the time they reached New England, she said, we were so used to getting rained on we just kept going.

For many couples, being sore-footed and bone weary in miserable weather would make for some unhappy days, but Victoria Logue said they were prepared for all of it.

Shortly after they got married, they spent two months in Kathmandu Valley, where We learned how to get along. And they were prepared to write the guides from the time they met when he was a staff photographer, and she was a writer for a Warner Robins newspaper.

Their days of writing trail and scenic highway guides are likely behind them. Now 59, she said she is concentrating on devotional books and as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the 57-year-old Logue is on the road a lot for his ministry.

As with her husband, Victoria Logue has a favorite hike in mind.

I would probably want to do a hike in Europe, St. Cuthberts Way in England, and she also wanted to walk the Way of St. Francis in Italy, she said.

She spoke of writing devotionals, but to hear them talk about the trail it is clear their Christian faith is bolstered as they hike.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail was for us a spiritual journey, that changed their walk from journalism to ministry and trekking those long distances changed the way they live, Frank Logue said.

Patience, endurance, goal-setting cant be matched in any other way, he said.

Had it not been for hiking, they would have never written any books and, after the experience, he started a church from scratch, King of Peace in Kingsland where he ministered from 2000 until 2010.

Asked about his favorite trail experiences, spiritual or otherwise, Logue said he had several, including When the rhododendron are blooming in the southern Appalachians, as the trail follows dark tunnels through the thickets, he said.

The smell of the balsam fir on the high places, when youve been on Roan Mountain. Ive done it again and again even on a foggy day. That is just amazing to me, he said.

Then you think of fall in New England, walking the Long Trail/AT in Vermont, he said.

They have seen places that come to mind instantly, the high, breezy meadows of the Grayson Highlands in Virginia, Cumberland Mountain, Clingmans Dome in the Smokys and Charlies Bunion, a rock knob with a 360 degree view.

Sometimes, you have those places to yourself and hear just your own breath and the wind in the trees. Sometimes its just you and the sound of your soles padding on the rocks and roots that other hikers feet have polished to a sheen like a drill sergeants boots.

There are places in the mountains you can feel Gods presence. I dont know an atheist who hasnt had the hair go up on the back of their neck out in nature. It can be a spectacular waterfall, maybe a grouse, walking up on a deer that doesnt bolt.

You cant predict when it will happen because it can sneak up on you in those cathedrals of trees or in some less remarkable places where a icy, clear stream tumbles over rocks, he said. He agreed theres more to it than intelligent design. Its the work of a loving God who created it in a way we can enjoy.

There is a sense we were created for each other. The flower wants to be admired in a way that is beautiful to us.

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COLUMN/PERSPECTIVE: The spiritual experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail - Brunswick News

Pastor Paula White calls on angels from Africa and South America to bring Trump victory – USA TODAY

President Donald Trump's spiritual adviser Paula White-Cain led an impassioned prayer service for his reelection. USA TODAY

Megachurch pastor and televangelist Paula White-Cain, who is spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump,delivered a prayer service Wednesday night in an effort to secure Trump's reelection.

During the service, which wasstreamed on Facebook Live, White-Cain called on "angelic reinforcement" from the continents of Africa and South America.

"I hear a sound of victory, the Lord says it is done," she said. "For angels have even been dispatched from Africa right now... In the name of Jesus from South America, they're coming here."

In her prayer, White-Cain is also heard speaking in tongues an occurrencein which a speaker talks in a language they do not know, usually during an intense religious experience. Speaking in tongues has been practiced in multiple Christian denominations, as well as other religions.

White's video has goneviral since it went online Wednesday night. And many have expressed outrage over her words.

"God is sending angels from a place Trump called a [expletive] to help him get re-elected?" Bishop Talbert Swan, a pastor, activist and NAACP Chapter President, wrote on Twitter. "'I hear the sounds of victory...' Consider a hearing aid."

"Shell be lucky if Stephen Miller doesnt send those angels to ICE Detention Centers," wroteAna Navarro-Crdenas, political strategist and commentator for CNN, Telemundo and The View.

White-Cain also statedthat"demonic confederacies...are attempting to steal the election from Trump." As of Thursday morning, Joe Biden had 264 electoral votes and Trump 214, according to USA TODAY counts.

Even before outrage over Wednesday's video, White-Cain wasa controversial figure in Christian circles because she preaches prosperity theology (or prosperity gospel) a belief that God will reward believers with material wealth if they donate generously to religious causes.

Who is Paula White?Trump's spiritual adviser says president is a man of repentance


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Pastor Paula White calls on angels from Africa and South America to bring Trump victory - USA TODAY

Spiritual Warriors on Behalf of Donald Trump – The Bulwark

Listening to the rhetoric of President Donald Trumps allies over the last few days as the ballots rolled in and his hopes of re-election dwindled, we were reminded of the ways in which religious historywhich can sometimes feel distant and foreign to contemporary concernsremains very relevant to the present. In their language of warfare spiritual and secular, Trumps evangelical allies have been playing with a fire that may continue to burn long after they give up this contest. It is worth taking a moment to look closely at, and consider the consequences of, their preaching and shouting and, yes, tweeting, the rhetoric of holy war.

Paula White, the presidents spiritual adviser, for example, spent last Wednesday night leading a Pentecostal prayer service, engaging in spiritual warfare for the purpose of securing Trumps re-election. The most sensational partbesides speaking in tongueswas the summoning of angels to fight for him, saying, For angels have even been dispatched from Africa right now. . . . In the name of Jesus from South America, theyre coming here.

White later said that we come against people that are working at high levels right now with demonic confederacies who were working against the election, against America, against that who You have declared to be in the White House. Behind her as she preached was a man pacing back and forth with a Bible, possibly engaged in a Jericho March, a prayer walk to intercede, protect, enact change, etc.

If this was the spiritual warfare to try and re-elect Donald Trump through holy violence, Trumps former campaign strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon had something less incorporeal in mind. He said on his podcast that at the beginning of Trumps second term, the president should execute Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray: Id actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. Id put their heads on pikes, right, Id put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the program or youre gone.

Bannons core political belief unites a clash-of-civilizations, defense-of-the-West conviction with a combative, ultraconservative Catholicism. While his legal battles in the United States tend to get the most attention, its worth noting that he has also been engaged in a long legal clash in Italy over the control of a 13th-century monastery that he reportedly wants to turn into the headquarters for a project to realize his theological-political vision.

Not only does Bannon play around with neomedieval notions of executions, he has made a habit of playing with violent tropes of the past. Addressing (virtually) the Catholic Identity Conference in Pittsburgh at the end of October, he said that traditional Catholics needed to engage in war against myriad enemies standing against Donald Trumps re-election. Among the enemies: the compromised Vatican.

At that same conference, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan gave a speech saying that we are in the End Times and that a New World Order, the antithesis of Christian Society, exists and must be fought. Vigan connected the U.S. election to a major moral and spiritual conflict:

Allow me a brief word about the political situation in the United States on the eve of the presidential election. Fratelli Tutti [i.e., Pope Franciss latest encyclical, published in October] seems to be a form of Vatican endorsement of the Democratic candidate, in clear opposition to Donald Trump, and come a few days after Francis refused to grant audience to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rome. This confirms which side the children of light are on, and who the children of darkness are.

The conferences main homepage image shows four armed Knights Templar kneeling before a priestcoyly violent religious imagery heading a religious conference in which speakers preached violence against those opposing Donald Trump.

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On todays Bulwark podcast, Sarah Longwell, Bill Kristol, and Jonathan V. Last join Charlie Sykes to discuss Joe Bidens...

Both Paula Whites spiritual warfare and Bannons call to the faithful to engage in religiously inspired physical warfare bring to mind the Crusadesthe holy wars launched by the Church in 1096 onwards against various Muslim powers. The chroniclers of those wars recorded visions of saints, angelic hosts joining the soldiers on the battlefield, apocalyptic missions ending in the conquest of Jerusalemreferring to Revelation itself in the process. Those ideas then spread beyond wars in the Levant to wars in Spain, violence against Jews across Europe, wars against pagans and Orthodox Christians in the Baltic, wars against heretics and rival lords in southern France, wars against political enemies in Italy, wars against proto-Protestants in Bohemia. (Arguably the last of these conflicts was during the age of Napoleon.) Once the rhetoric of holy war is used, the idea, like a virus, spreads and mutates and never seems to die.

On Thursday, as President Trumps electoral defeat seemed ever more inevitable, televangelist George Pearsons took to the airwaves to apprise the faithful of the horrific situation facing Gods president. Alternating between speaking directly as God and for God, Pearson warned that he (presumably God) was angry with what was happening to his ordained leader and that retribution was underway. It was a declaration that evangelical conservatism alone is the arbiter of who or what deserves divine sanction or retribution.

Pearsons hardly stands alone. History is a wasteland of religious justifications for political activism, identity, and violence. On the other hand, Christianity, and American Christianity especially, has arguably possessed more than its fair share of these unions of political thought and religious belief. Millennialismessentially the idea that through constantly improving and reforming society, mankind could prepare and even accelerate the return of Jesus Christ and his physical kingdom on Earthwas a defining feature of Puritan thought, and after the Great Awakening, its influence could be seen in almost all the Protestant sects who dominated early American culture and politics. Flawed laws and leaders, sinful social behaviors, and even the toleration of practices and peoples of other beliefs were all seen as potentially hindering the literal second coming of Christ.

The quintessentially American variation of apocalyptic millennialism has had a range of consequences. On the positive side of the ledger: During the colonial and Revolutionary periods, when religious leaders were shapers of democratic and pluralistic political thought in the colonies, evangelicals embraced anti-authoritarianism and anti-elitism. They pushed to broaden political access and to question temporal rulers, and they established individual agency and freedom as the key ingredients to both good government and a godly society. Even at the time, many people saw this belief system as linked to the American Revolution, as clergy exhorted soldiers and civilians to regard the cause of American liberty as synonymous with the will of heaven. The early Republic saw this same merging of religious and political activism promote a variety of social reforms. And the long arc of major American social reformsexpanding the franchise, the abolition of slavery, public education, aspects of the welfare state, and even environmental conservationismwas connected to the belief that salvation depends on constant political activism designed to win Gods favor.

Yet the inability to separate political exigencies and actors from religious meaning also produced some of the darkest chapters in American history. Natives who refused Christian conversion did not fit into the architecture of a godly society and were exterminated, expelled, and displaced with near unanimous approval. At least part of the reason loyalists were treated roughly during the Revolutionary eramany were stripped of citizenship and had their property seized; some were killed in public lynchings; others were forcibly deportedis that their rejection of separation from Great Britain was seen by some patriots as hindering the creation of Gods kingdom. Fourscore years later, Southern religious leaders invoked God to defend slavery and, when civil conflict loomed, advocated a treasonous rebellion to defend it. In the 20th century, this alliance of religious conviction and political identity gave us potent conservative movements like the Moral Majority and its antiprogressive agenda of rolling back the rights of women and homosexualsand led directly to todays marriage of evangelicals and the Republican party, on which Donald Trump has depended.

Some of Trumps supporters wanted him re-elected to help bring about that millennial kingdom. Some showed up to the Clark County, Nevada election department to kneel and pray that righteousness prevails while wearing red MAGA hats. Some cast the election in Manichaean terms. Representative Clay Higgins of Louisiana, for example, tweeted about Freedom or oppression. A free Republic or total government control, essentializing to good and evil, before saying Make your stand and quoting George Washington. On Thursday, Higgins tweeted out Psalms 55:9-11:

You need not be an elite exegete to detect in Higginss tweet a call to holy violence, whether spiritual or physical, in service of Trumps re-election. These themes from Christian history, be it the Crusades or colonial America, never really seem to go away; notions of sacred violence, and of apocalyptic millennialism, have a powerful and dangerous longevity. Of course, evangelical Christianity is not monolithic, and one of the compelling social conflicts of our time will be the battle to dominate the future and meaning of its apocalyptic strain. At the same time, with public tension and political extremism coming into full view surrounding Donald Trump and his coalitions loss of the presidency, it is worth remembering that our leaders have a responsibility to consider their words and beliefs carefully. God wills it is an idea that can draw blood.


Spiritual Warriors on Behalf of Donald Trump - The Bulwark

NJAC Rededication: 1970 Revolution impacts spirituality and religion in T&T – Wired868

[] White supremacist philosophy, then predominant in the society, was reinforced by very visible symbols of wealth, power, science, technology and general achievement, which resulted from centuries of exploitation of the human and physical resources of colonised societies around the world.

[] The new teachings of the Trinidad and Tobago Revolution and the resulting rise in enlightenment made most of these practices unacceptable after 1970.

The people began to develop greater respect, confidence and belief in their own culture, philosophies and ideas. There was a renewed pride in what they inherited from their ancestors or what they created in their own communities

The following column is part of an NJAC series on their contribution to Trinidad and Tobago society after the Black Power Revolution of 1970:

In 1970, the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), under the insightful leadership of the Chief Servant Makandal Daaga, launched a serious campaign for the liberation of the minds of our people in Trinidad and Tobago. This was a necessary step on the road to the creation of a free and just society. The existing colonial and slave mentality was the foundation for the political, economic, cultural, social and even religious denial of the dignity and humanity of the masses.

When NJAC launched the mass Peoples Movement in 1970, we found that Caribbean society in general still maintained several of the practices, norms and policies of our slave, indentured and colonial past. Generations of non-white men and women had grown up in absolute powerlessness. They were victims of a society that denied them their right to govern their own lives and even imposed oppressive laws and regulations to limit their personal activities at the individual levels.

White supremacist philosophy, then predominant in the society, was reinforced by very visible symbols of wealth, power, science, technology and general achievement, which resulted from centuries of exploitation of the human and physical resources of colonised societies around the world. There is little wonder that these deceptive, dehumanising doctrines, suggesting the inferiority of colonised or ex-colonised peoples, have been so successful in implanting a self-fulfilling inferiority mindset in oppressed people.

Given these socio-political realities of 1970 society, NJACs call for peoples power and a new and just society was considered an act of rebellion by the existing power elite. It was a rebellion the controllers of power were bent on extinguishing.

NJAC and the movement, however, had a very forceful instrument in the tens of thousands of people marching daily and supporting NJACs demands for change. With the genius of Makandal Daagas leadership at the helm, NJACs mobilisation of the masses was so swift and dynamic that the powers that be, and everyone else, were compelled to lend a very attentive ear. NJAC was thus able to mount a very serious challenge to the white supremacist philosophy.

Racism was even present within some churches at that time. Before 1970, for instance, some churches gave special privileges to white members of the congregation (like reserved seats in the front pews or having the black members wait to allow the whites to leave first). The very fact that these practices were then widely accepted speaks volumes to the nature of race relations existing at that time. The new teachings of the Trinidad and Tobago Revolution and the resulting rise in enlightenment made most of these practices unacceptable after 1970.

The people began to develop greater respect, confidence and belief in their own culture, philosophies and ideas. There was a renewed pride in what they inherited from their ancestors or what they created in their own communities. A good example of this is seen in the immense impact the movement had on the development of philosophies and lifestyles that did not originate in Europe or North America.

The case of Rastafarianism is one significant example. The growth of the Rastafarian philosophy and lifestyle only took off in T&T in the 1970s. Tyehimba Salandy, in his book I and I in Iere Land: A History of the Rastafari Movement in Trinidad & Tobago, stated: While the emergence of the Rastafari movement in Jamaica occurred within the context of British imperialist rule, the emergence of Rasta identity in Trinidad and Tobago happened in the post-independence period. The subsequent explosion of Rasta identity came after the initial Black Power uprising.

The movement ushered in a new era for the religious community, particularly for the Catholic, Orisa, Spiritual Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Muslim and Hindu faiths. This was reflected in official and social recognition, changes in policy, as well as in a new awareness and growth in their members and followers. These faiths began to command greater space and respect within society.

In 1972, Dr Brinsley Samaroo, in reference to the impact of the Revolution on the East Indian community, stated, Currently, there is the revival of rituals, increased religious fervour, name changing (back to Indian names) and a return to Indian forms of dress.

It should also be noted that the first T&T national and the first African to be appointed Bishop of the Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago, Clive Abdullah, received his appointment on 29 September 1970. Even before his appointment, during the period of the mass demonstrations (26 February to 21 April 1970) Bishop Abdullah was very vocal in his criticism of the lack of representation of black leaders in the Anglican Church in Trinidad and Tobago.

During the 1980s and 1990s three historic laws were passed by the parliament to the benefit of the Orisa faith: the Act for the Incorporation of the Orisa Movement of Trinidad & Tobago, Egbe Ile Wa (1981); the Opa Orisa Shango Movement Act (1991); and the Orisa Marriage Act (1999). Trinidad and Tobagos 1981 Act for the Incorporation of the Orisa Movement was the first legal enactment to legitimise the status of African-derived religions outside of the African continent. It was the first time that the Orisa faith was granted formal recognition and designated the status of other religious groups.

The Shouter Baptists also enjoyed a rise in their recognition and respect during this period. Barbara Grey-Burke (Archbishop of the Spiritual Shouter Baptists) was strongly influenced by the 1970 movement she participated in.

She said of the movement: Women stood defiantly with the men during protest marches [] after 1970, more black women were employed in the banks and as air hostesses.

She believed that for many black women in Trinidad and Tobago, Liseli Daaga (wife of Makandal Daaga) symbolised the power of black consciousness.

The 1970s was undeniably a period of true mental liberation for our people, thus releasing their natural potential for creativity and innovation.

Prior to 1970, T&Ts democracy rating was very low. Viewpoints that opposed those of the government or the power elite were not tolerated. Several books that presented a different world view, often very progressive, were banned by the government as subversive literature. During this time, several NJAC members suffered persecution, police harassment, fines in court, arrests and detention in police cells before some of these undemocratic laws and practices were curbed.

This ran counter to the foundation of any truly democratic society based on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the general free flow of information that gave the population the opportunity to freely decide which philosophy (or approach) they considered the best.

Chairman Mao Tse Tung, leader of the Chinese Revolution, whose books were then banned in T&T, presented the spirit of democracy quite appropriately when he wrote: Let one hundred flowers blossom, let one hundred schools of thought contend.

In Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, a brilliant son of our soil, Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael), was banned from coming home by the government led by Dr Eric Williams. Ture, who coined the slogan Black Power and fought against racism and oppression of black people in the United States, was only allowed to come home to the land of his birth in 1996 when the ban was lifted by the Basdeo Panday government.

As a result of the influence of NJAC and the Peoples Movement, a dialogue emerged among most of the religious denominations present in Trinidad and Tobago at the time. This led to the formation of the Inter-Religious Organization (IRO) in 1970. Three years later, the body was incorporated by an act of parliament on 17 July 1973.

Also established was the Caribbean Conference of Churches, which published the Caribbean Contact paper to promote a regional religious and spiritual perspective. In one of its 1975 editions, the Caribbean Contact stated that the saints of the 20th century did not come from within the Church but from outside the Church. Three persons identified as such saints were Makandal Daaga, Kwame Ture and Khafra Kambon.

Such was the regional and international impact of the movement that the pope convened a meeting of the World Conference of Churches (WCC) in Geneva to discuss the effect NJACs ideas were likely to have on religious activities and influence in the Caribbean. Reverend Roy Neehall of the Presbyterian faith represented Trinidad and Tobago at that meeting.

The WCC secretariat also gave Reverend Neehall the additional responsibility of investigating reports of Black Power attacks on a church in Trinidad, arising out of the entry of demonstrators into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 26 February 1970. Reverend Neehall spent five days investigating the incident and submitted in his final report that there was no evidence of any attack on the church in Trinidad.

The existing churches at the time received much criticism for their failure to take a position or address the poverty and exploitation of large sections of our communities. There were some very positive responses, with the church fraternity generally becoming more sensitive to the needs of underprivileged members of the society.

There was also a greater effort on the part of religious bodies to take positive measures to alleviate the impact of poverty on their flock and on our communities in general. For instance, catholic priest Father Gerard Pantin and Wesley (Wes) Hall (a Barbadian and West Indian cricketer then on a coaching assignment with WITCO in Trinidad) founded Service Volunteered for All (Servol ) on 8 September 1970.

The objective was to foster spiritual values, cooperation and family responsibility within underprivileged communities. Through Servol, the Church sought to provide opportunities for persons in dispossessed communities, with a special emphasis on Laventille.

Fifty years later, Servol continues to contribute to poverty alleviation among the needy through their training, character building and job opportunities. Approximately 300,000 persons have benefited from their training, nurturing and support programmes for children, young adults and young parents. The Servol model has been taken as far as Australia, Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, Israel and Ireland, as well as to several Caribbean territories.

On 26 February 2020, the 50th anniversary of the launch of the mass Peoples Movement, which culminated in the Trinidad and Tobago Revolution of 1970, NJAC returned to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The cathedral was occupied by demonstrators on that same date 50 years ago. The return to the cathedral earlier this year, however, took quite a different form; that of a service in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Trinidad and Tobago Revolution of 1970.

Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon, who conducted the commemorative service, stated in his homily: Unless citizens understand the deep underbelly of the Black Power Revolution and the way it still affects us today, 50 years later, then we would not move the revolution on to its next stage.

1970 was a watershed but it leads us today to reflect on what the country has gained and in what ways the Black Power Revolution is still unfinished Unfinished because we have reached far from where we were, but we have not yet come to the promised land

He added: 1970 wounds must heal for T&T to move forward.

Servant Leader of NJAC Kwasi Mutema told the congregation at the Cathedral: you have young people who would have followed the script, so to speak. They went to their schools, they went to their universities, they graduated, and we have young professional doctors and lawyers who just cannot find work, and they are unhappy. They cannot move forward with their lives.

They want to start a family, but they have to deliberately put that on hold. That is a severe state of unhappiness and we do not realise what we are doing to our society when you get that level of unhappiness. A happy people do not commit crime.

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NJAC Rededication: 1970 Revolution impacts spirituality and religion in T&T - Wired868

US election 2020: Biden seeks spiritual comfort before maelstrom of ‘loneliest job in the world’ – Sky News

The church of St Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington has played a significant role in the life of Joe Biden.

It was no surprise then that, even as he begins the transition from private citizen to most powerful man on the planet, he sought spiritual comfort within its 19th-century walls.

What was surprising perhaps was that the small gathering of media and members of the public at the church gates was granted such a clear view of the former vice president, now under increased Secret Service protection, as he made his way inside.

It was to the total delight of locals who are getting used to the novelty of being home to Delaware's first ever president of the United States.

He was accompanied by his daughter Ashley, and grandson Hunter, and it wasn't just the 10.30am mass that brought the president-elect to St Joseph.

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As he left the service, he made the short walk to the church's cemetery. Buried there are his first wife Neilia and daughter Naomi, killed in a car accident in 1972, and his son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015.

As they paid their respects, Mr Biden was seen to put his arm around the shoulder of Beau's son Hunter.

It was a very personal moment for a man whose private life has become part of his political story. That story will now be America's guiding light for the next four years.

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Karen Peterson and Victoria Bandy also regularly pay their respects at Beau Biden's grave. Like most people in the neighbourhood, they know the Biden family and have plenty of stories of their encounters over the years.

They say Mr Biden's Catholic faith is fundamental to who he is, and the president he will be.

"I think it means everything to him. I think it gives him the strength to do this," said Victoria. "I don't think his heart was really in this to begin with because of losing Beau, but he knows Beau would have wanted him to do this."

Karen added: "Joe's faith is central to his life and the person he is."

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While Mr Biden was at mass, the team managing the transition from the Trump administration was unveiling a website outlining his plans. More announcements are coming - a sign that Mr Biden is not holding his breath waiting for Donald Trump to concede.

There was a wave for the supporters who had gathered in the sunshine to offer their good wishes before Mr Biden retreated back into the protective bubble that will be his life from now on.

It was a few moments of peace and reflection for a man who will soon enough face the maelstrom of what has so often been called the loneliest job in the world.

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US election 2020: Biden seeks spiritual comfort before maelstrom of 'loneliest job in the world' - Sky News

OPINION/SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Were still in this together – Wicked Local Kingston

The first lesson about leadership I learned, was as a ninth-grade football player and the quarterback for my high school team.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. --Abraham Lincoln

The first lesson about leadership I learned, was as a ninth-grade football player and the quarterback for my high school team. We were led by our coach, lets call him Coach Jim, and he coached us in a way Ive since learned by personal experience and study, is about the worst strategy to bring folks together. The worst way to motivate others. The worst way to unify disparate group of folks. The worst way to lead.

He was a bully.

He ruled the field and the locker room, not with inspiration or support or encouragement or joy at play, but instead with fear; with threats, with anger and with such meanspiritedness that he drove me to quit the sport, one Id loved since I first took to the gridiron in the fifth grade. At practice the air was filled with expletives, shouted at full volume at the team, and so we learned to just put our heads down and play, hoping Coach would not single us out for a tongue lashing before our peers. We were afraid of his wrath. The violence of our sport was reflected in the violence of his rhetoric and actions.

When he did wind up to let us know how he was really feeling, his face would turn a deep shade of red, and the spittle would fly from his mouth and his words would flow with such contempt for us that we prayed for play to end early. Coach was in a bad mood. The irony is that for all his blow-hardy speeches and closed-fist threats and arrogance, our team played awfully. We allowed him to divide us and be pitted against one another. He imagined he was bringing out the best in us, I suppose, but the truth was he was a terrible coach. That season we lost more than we won and rarely had any fun as we played.

So much for a bullys ability to lead, to evoke the better angels in human nature.

I couldnt get this notion of bullying off of my mind as our nation went to the polls and decided our national fate and direction for the next four years. It has been an ugly, ugly campaign season and an ugly, ugly year for human behavior in our land. Who could have imagined the image of armed protesters, bullies, storming the state capitol in Michigan this summer in response to the lockdown? The blatant disregard, even contempt, so many of my fellow citizens have shown for science and public health, that folks would actually see the rejection of mask wearing as a symbol of liberty, patriotism even?

Are we living in a parallel universe? Is this really America?

Though in some places the threat of COVID has brought us together and inspired compassionate and wise leadership, in other places, for lack of such moral leadership, through bullying leadership, the virus now threatens us two-fold. First, with the threat of getting sick and then with the threat of watching us come apart at the seams as a country, our devolution as a democracy.

Instead of leaders evoking the best in us, our angels, too many leaders instead evoke the worst in their followers. Inspire violence and hate, not peace and cooperation. Call out for cruelty and not compassion, meanness and not mercy.

Last March as COVID spread throughout the land, I was idealistic and hopeful. I prayed to God that this shared threat would bring out the best in us as fellow citizens. To each do our parts to keep the whole healthy and well and unified. To sacrifice for a neighbor: to mask up and distance and take good care. Together, we would get through this. When Americans are unified, anything is possible.

But if competent leadership is not there to move the masses to act with such virtue, it will not happen. So, even though we are facing into the worst heath crisis our nation has faced in 100 years, are now almost eight months into what might continue for another year, we are sick in a way. We are diseased civically, and we are in critical care as a national community.

Thats the price we pay when bullies lead.

Chaos. Fear. Danger. Incompetence. Disunity. It doesnt matter if it is on a football field or in a family or a corporate boardroom or in the halls of government.

Thus, in the days ahead I offer this prayer for our land. That we might be led by those who bring out the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln once said. That we might move off of the sidelines of democracy and get right into the thick of it, into the contest. Vote. Organize. Be informed. Take responsibility for our citizenship. That America might live up to the noblest of our shared ideals: neighbor helping neighbor, and always, ALWAYS remembering.

We are all in this together.

The Rev. John F. Hudson is senior pastor of the Pilgrim Church, United Church of Christ, in Sherborn (pilgrimsherborn.org). If you have a word or idea youd like defined in a future column or have comments, please send them to pastorjohn@pilgrimsherborn.org.

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OPINION/SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Were still in this together - Wicked Local Kingston

Inspiration – The Abundant Power Hour 11/09 by Universal Energy | Spirituality – BlogTalkRadio

"Topic Pick" Change is in the air!Have something you would like us to discuss? Email Ask@UniversalEnergyRadio.com.Conversation that make a Difference! Shift for your highest and greatest good in this world of great transformation. How we look at all things. How we interact with all things. Join the conversation when we are LIVE. Messages from Source through tarot and intuitive guidance and validation for your nexts steps.

Three major transitions for Anita were her multiple marriages and birth of her son which taught her many lessons about herself, the discovery of her love for computers which led to some great careers, and her move to a rural area which enriched her love of nature. All of these experiences have led her to tap into her intuitive abilities and study more about God, Angels, Reiki, Channeling, Shamanism and Spirit Animals.

Anita knows that she just has to ask for help and guidance and it will appear. She trusts and flows with the love in the Universe!www.earthpathguide.com

Anna Banguilanis a Life Coach & Spiritual Humorist. Blessing the messes and now helping others tap in to their Master Mind to release blocks and resistance to receive what they truly want, bringing more clarity, joy, peace and revealing their true identity.www.lifegetsbetterandbetter.com

It's Time Ya'll Just Ask!


Inspiration - The Abundant Power Hour 11/09 by Universal Energy | Spirituality - BlogTalkRadio

Spiritual teacher Sri M comes out with new collection of short stories – Times of India

Author and spiritual teacher Sri M has come out with a new collection of short stories titled, "The Homecoming and Other Stories", publishing house Penguin has announced. The book, which features 13 stories, urges readers to delve deep into the human spirit and get a glimpse of why people do the things they do.From horror stories to tales that will shock and pull at heartstrings, the book claims to have something for everyone in this eclectic collection."To me, a short story is like the lovely little stream that trickles down my backyard when it rains. Before the monsoon stops and the stream vanishes, I rush to catch its subtle movements, as the stream makes its way to the river nearby."And the river, it continues to flow in its own 'novel' way, come rain or shine," said Sri M, who turned 72 on Friday, said.

Born as Mumtaz Ali in Thiruvananthapuram, Sri M was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India, in January this year for distinguished service of high order in spirituality.

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Spiritual teacher Sri M comes out with new collection of short stories - Times of India

Yes, There Is a Spiritual Side to Having a Healthy Relationship With Food | RELEVANT – RELEVANT Magazine

Lets face it. Over the last few months, theres been a lot of stress in the world and when theres a lot of stress, many of us take it on with our appetites. Yeah, its been pretty easy to justify snacking in the middle of a global pandemic, a historic election season and the general tension of being an American in 2020. And while theres nothing wrong with that, we do need to be mindful not just of how were eating, but of how our eating is affecting us.

Nicole Mesita is a dietician who lives in San Francisco who has a passion, in her words, to help people of all shapes and sizes discover body peace and acceptance through the unconditional love of Jesus. She spoke with us about why shes not a fan of dieting, what a better alternative for healthy eating might look like is and how to be mindful of others who are struggling with food issues.

Tell us a little about what you do?

Eating disorders are one of the deadliest mental illnesses. Its actually second, the first one is narcotic usage. People dont really realize that, and they also dont realize that the number one cause of eating disorders is dieting. People are dieting at a younger age, theyre going on diets earlier and what we know about diets is that 95 to 98 percent of them dont last. They result in weight regain, and even more weight gain. Theres metabolic problems that can happen.

So, an eating disorder can really derail someone from Gods calling on their life. Its one of those mental illnesses that a lot of people want to have too, because if they lose it, then theyre afraid of the consequences, like weight gain and loss of control.

It is a really hard one to break free from. When I talk to my clients and theyre telling me 95 percent of their day is spent thinking about food and their body, thats not biblical. Thats the opposite of what God says in Philippians think about things that are praiseworthy. God doesnt want us being obsessed about our body.

I hear you talking about some of the dangers of dieting and diets, but youre a dietician.

I promote what we call mindful eating or intuitive eating. God gave you, me and everyone hunger and fullness signals. Those were innate in us when we were babies. We cried when we wanted food, and then we stopped when we were full. So Im teaching people to go back to hunger and fullness signals. Eating when youre hungry, stop when youre full, honor what it is that you actually want. God does give us a variety of food that we do crave, and those things arent wrong to crave. Sometimes youre going to crave a big salad, other times youre going to crave a burger.

So my job as a dietician is not only helping people foster this healthier relationship with food and their body, but teaching them how to get back to those innate signals that they had when they were kids before diet culture took them away from those things.

Do you see spiritual connections to healthy eating?

I think weve created this idol about physical health where physical health only looks a certain way. What the research really tells us is that it can look a variety of ways, and God created us all with different body sizes. If were idolizing a certain body, thats not spiritual. You can achieve health no matter what your size is. Thats not saying that every person is healthy, regardless of their size. Its just saying that you can achieve health no matter what your size is, and itll free you up to really focus on your spiritual health, which is more important.

Theres so much research about spiritual health being tied to being overall health like lower blood pressure, lower stress and all of those things, but our culture equates physical health with being thin and looking a certain way. Research is telling us more and more that just isnt the truth.

This summer increased a lot of our stress and a lot of us fell into unhealthy eating and maybe unhealthy drinking habits. Do you have any advice for people whose stress has them eating too much, not eating enough or maybe just eating at odd hours?

I think the first thing I would ask is for people to get curious about those things. If you are saying, Hey, Ive been eating a lot more than usual, or Ive been eating at random times in the night, I would say ask yourself about why that might be happening. Not in a judgmental or accusatory way, but just a genuinely curious way. Because oftentimes, the way that we eat does directly affect what is going on with our mental health and the stress that were experiencing.

It really takes a lifetime to unlearn some of the weird ideas weve picked up around not just eating, but healthy eating.

Right. The Church also holds its own beliefs about them too, and they can actually be super harmful. Were often not creating a very inclusive environment for people with larger bodies in churches, and thats absolutely heartbreaking. Youll hear about different diets in church Bible studies, or people will make jokes about gluttony. Its just totally heartbreaking as a dietician to hear my clients say, I dont feel comfortable going to my church because of these comments.

How can we all be more aware, not just of our own possible unhealthy eating habits, but of the need to be sensitive to others who might be struggling?

I think really just being aware of weight discrimination and how that affects people in larger bodies. The stigma for those individuals increases cortisol in their body, and cortisol is a stress hormone that, makes you, funnily enough, gain weight. Were just creating this cycle of stress causing this weight gain, and thats a thing that people really cant control either.

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Yes, There Is a Spiritual Side to Having a Healthy Relationship With Food | RELEVANT - RELEVANT Magazine

Morality, spirituality must be at centre of discussions aimed at lasting unity – Stabroek News

Dear Editor,

Recent correspondents Ravi Dev and Vincent Alexander were referred to in a letter published in the November 5th Stabroek News written by Tacuma Ogunseye in a letter titled `The major hindrance to unity is unwillingness of race groups to accept need for adjustment in historical advantages they achieved.

The insights obtained in the argument by Dev and Alexander are credible and further no one can quarrel with Tacumas analysis of both sides. I will not break a lance with Tacuma on his emphasis on the question of indigenous people. Safe to say that a necessary tool as we seek to reach the plateau of national unity is a thorough understanding of the history of each of the six races of Guyana.

The burden of this letter is the contention that beyond all we have heard from, Dev, Alexander, Tacuma and others is a question I offered in (1991) that to ensure the success of whatever programmes and systems are put in place a moral and spiritual revival is the lynchpin of a national edifice.

I remember one seasoned journalist the late Cecil Griffith trivialize this idea.

This revival and understanding of morality and spirituality, must be at the epicentre of discussions and decisions aimed at lasting unity.

If we sit around the conference table and participants are devoid of these characteristics, lasting unity, genuine love for fellow man and a deep sense of patriotism will remain an elusive dream.

Yours faithfully,

Hamilton Green

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Morality, spirituality must be at centre of discussions aimed at lasting unity - Stabroek News

Tokayev receives head of Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan – Kazinform

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has received today Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan, Supreme Mufti Nauryzbai kazhy Taganuly, Kazinform has learnt from the Akorda press service.

During the meeting, the Head of State was informed of the charity activity of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Nauryzbai kazhy Taganuly, the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan lent a helping hand and provided Kazakhstani hospitals with oxygen devices, face masks and protective gear made at sewing workshops at mosques. Additionally, 314 apartments have been provided within the framework of the Yel ulesi paterde program.

The meeting further focused on the plans and prospects of activity of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan, creation of the Islamic academy, construction of the Library of Islam and theology and other problems.

Having praised the work of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan, the Head of State wished it success in further endeavors.

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Tokayev receives head of Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan - Kazinform

Worldly concerns bleed into the spiritual realm | State – Southernminn.com

A figure of a saint consumed by flames after protesters storm a church in Chile. In Armenia, a nationwide prayer for peace. A womens protest against abortion restrictions outside a Polish house of worship.

Around the world, Associated Press photographers captured moments like these in the past month showing how secular conflicts, disputes and worries inevitably intersect with the spiritual realm.

An international dust-up sparked anti-France protest in Istanbul after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, needed mental health treatment because of his attitude toward Islam and Muslims.

In the United States, President Donald Trump visited a Las Vegas church while on a campaign tour to Nevada as the politically polarized nation barreled toward the hotly disputed November election. With Trump, a rare churchgoer, sitting in the front row, the pastor proclaimed that God told her that morning he would secure a second term.

And amid the latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces, two volunteer doctors, one of them wearing military fatigues, prayed with a priest in a church in the separatist Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in Azerbaijan territory but under control of ethnic Armenian forces.

Traditionally, pets are blessed the first week in October for the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. In the Philippines, a Roman Catholic priest sprinkled holy water as a dog poked its head out of a car window in a socially distanced drive-through blessing.

These and more are among the APs top faith-related images published in October.

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Worldly concerns bleed into the spiritual realm | State - Southernminn.com

Trip to top of wind turbine offers spectacular sights and spiritual sensation – Wicked Local Plymouth

First there was the Sermon on the Mount. Now theres the Sermon on the Wind Turbine.

First there was the Sermon on the Mount. Now theres the Sermon on the Wind Turbine.

Pastor Neil Eaton of New Hope Chapel in Plymouth took advantage of a visit last week to Camelot Industrial Park to preach from a very tall pulpit: 250 feet off the ground while standing on the top of the towering structure. With only a harness hooked to a railing holding him back, the minister said he felt very close to God while experiencing another more understandable sensation.

"A reverent sense of fear," he said. "Thats a healthy one, given that I stood above the earth at 250 feet!"

Eaton accompanied Matt Glynn, a part-owner of the wind turbine, and others including this reporter for a chance to see Plymouth from a whole new viewpoint. Bright blue skies with barely a breath of a breeze made for a spectacular experience. Most of the participants, though, preferred to witness this grand vista while being seated on a tiny platform high above the ground.

Not Pastor Eaton, who climbed the heights with his son Ben. He stood bolt upright to fully appreciate this moment way up there where the air is rarified.

"Our perspectives are generally shaped by what we see and hear around us horizontally in culture, people and circumstances," he said. "But we have a more hopeful perspective when we see everything from a greater altitude."

Local veterinarian Norm Stillman of Court Street Animal Hospital also went to the top of the turbine, which involved climbing two rather long ladders and then taking a slow elevator ride inside the structure. He too ascended to the platform, but decided sitting on it was more prudent than being erect.

"I never even thought about standing up," Stillman said.

He added, "Ive always believed we live in a very beautiful corner of the world, but surveying it in one sweeping panorama from the top of the turbine really brought it home to me. It was a spectacular moment and very high on my Plymouth bucket list. Now if I can just get a ride on the Mayflower, my list will be complete!"

Glynn, Lou Alvesand videographer Josh Malloy, who took drone photos of the climb,were also part of the turbine troupe. For the president of Glynn Electric, this was his third time to the top of the tower, which generates 1.5 megawatts of electricity enough to power 322 homes for a year. The turbine is owned by Claudette Thomas, Joe and Ann Balboni, Simon Thomas and Brian Kuhn. Glynn is a minority owner.

"It was no less scary than the first two times," he said. It was his first time up there since the death of his son Joshua Glynn, who was killed in an automobile accident two years ago. Joshuas Way, a residential road within view from the top of the turbine, was named for the Plymouth man.

"Looking off toward where Joshuas Way is, I could not help but think we are going to make Plymouth a better place to live with what we are doing there," he said.

As a man of the cloth, Eaton equated his high-altitude experience to a spiritual sensation.

"When we have a relationship with God through Christ, we know what we see and hear is not all there is," he said. "There is more. The resurrection of Christ gives us a higher, more hopeful view of our lives. The scriptures are like the view from the wind turbine. When we read them, we can see further into the future with joy."

The pastor also said he felt a comforting sense of security. "Because I was fastened by a safety harness lanyard to a solid support on the frame of the turbine," he said with a grin.

For this reporter, viewing Plymouth from 250 feet up was exhilarating, breathtaking and a little bit scary. Not being as trusting of a higher power as Pastor Neil, it was more than gratifying to experience this majestic moment firmly seated on the platform.

Oh me of little faith!


Trip to top of wind turbine offers spectacular sights and spiritual sensation - Wicked Local Plymouth

The strange tale of a former massage therapist turned religious leader & his 5 spiritual wives – The Independent

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SingaporeThe strange tale of a local religious leader reported by the former husbands of the women followers who he took as spiritual wives has been in the news lately.

The leader, according to a series of reports in The Straits Times, is not a registered Muslim Religious Teacher, and was already under investigation in 2015 due to accusations of inappropriate behavior toward the daughter of one of his spiritual wives. The police said in the following year that no action would be taken against him, after consideration of the facts and circumstances.

He is not, however, listed on the database of certified religious teachers in Singapore, the Asatizah Recognition Scheme, which ST discovered upon checking with the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas).

The man, who is unnamed in the reports, is a former massage therapist. He founded a new Muslim sect that encourages members to gamble, which is forbidden, in order to raise money to help the poor.

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A report about the women who are now his spiritual wives says that they remain loyal to him and aid the man in running his eatery and events management company, that they are all in their 40s and that they constitute the core of the religious group, which numbered around a dozen at one point.

Moreover, the five spiritual wives have attained a degree in education. One lectures at a junior college and co-founded a womens association. Another has a diploma in Shariah law and certificates in Islamic education and research, has founded a womans organisation and served as the senior executive of a charity group. Two of the wives had been employed in a local Malay Muslim organisation.

A number of the wives have children and are divorced from their former husbands.

ST identified the woman who has a diploma in Shariah law and certificates in Islamic education and research as Kak Long, which means older sister in Malay, and who is believed to have recruited the other wives.

The group does not practice open recruitment but directly approaches trustworthy candidates or financially independent women.

Kak Long told ST that there are individuals who are spreading untruths regarding the sect.

ST also endeavoured to speak to the leader of the sect, and reported that on Oct 25, the man told ST that he has no involvement in the group and denied having spiritual wives.

But the husbands of the wives are telling a different story.

One man, who used the moniker Mr Ahmad to hide his identity, told ST he had been part of the group from 2004 to 2007, joining because of the groups alleged thrust to help Muslims, especially women and the needy.

At one point, all the men were forced out of the group and it became an all-female following.

Mr Ahmad said the leader brainwashed his ex-wife and that the spiritual wives had been promised S$3 million each in 2015 if and when the groups businesses succeeded.

Another former male follower told ST that the leader would go into a trance and spoke in an Indonesian accent. Through a spirit called Mbah, he would advise followers on religious and business matters, and even scold them for doubting his divine powers.

He left the group in 2009 after the leader began calling himself a prophet.

Three of the spiritual wives former husbands, as well as four other ex-members of the group came forward to ST with the story, for the purpose of warning the Muslim community regarding the errant leader.

Pergas chief executive, Ustaz Mohammad Yusri Yubhi Md Yusoff, told ST via an email, We encourage the Muslim community to report any deviant teachings to the relevant authority, that is, Muis (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore).

We would also advise our Muslim community to seek knowledge from qualified religious teachers or asatizah who are recognised under the ARS. /TISG

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The strange tale of a former massage therapist turned religious leader & his 5 spiritual wives - The Independent

Study links daily spiritual practices to improved well-being and mental health – Baptist News Global

A national study conducted by sending text messages to smartphone users demonstrates that consistent spiritual practices can serve as a buffer against depression and boost overall well-being, social scientists say.

This study is unique because it examines daily spiritual experiences such as feeling Gods presence, finding strength in religion or spirituality, and feeling inner peace and harmony as both stable traits and as states that fluctuate, said study co-author and Baylor University sociologistMatt Bradshaw.

The study, published in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, employs a process developed by SoulPlus, a John Templeton Foundation project on religion, spirituality and wellbeing.

Due to the prevalence of smartphones, researchers were able to send digital prompts to participants over a 14-day period and track their moods, spiritual attitudes and responses to basic questions not just in one survey but in a series of surveys that painted a more complex picture of their lives.

Texting survey questions to smartphone users was key in providing confidence about the findings, according to Blake Victor Kent, assistant professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Nearly 2,800 individuals were surveyed from 2013 to 2016, each receiving two texts a day for two weeks, said Kent, also a research associate at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and a graduate student at Baylor when the study was conducted.

Participants were asked to respond to theistic questions and statements such as, I feel Gods presence, I feel closer to God and I find strength and comfort in my religion or spirituality. Non-theistic topics included, I feel a deep inner peace or harmony, I feel thankful for my blessings and I am spiritually touched by the beautify of creation.

Up to 15 questions from a pool of 100 were asked in each of the two daily sessions.

The goal was to ensure that temporary conditions, such as the death of a loved one, were not recorded as permanent depressive states. By asking recurring or similar questions over 14 days, researchers were able to discern between temporary feelings and fixed traits. Kent said that is more difficult to determine with survey data collected in just one or two sessions.

The primary advantage of this approach is it allows us to challenge the assumption that what we are measuring at one point in time is a stable view of that person.

The primary advantage of this approach is it allows us to challenge the assumption that what we are measuring at one point in time is a stable view of that person.

Having a firmer grasp of whats fleeting and whats stable in participants emotional and spiritual lives makes for a much more solid understanding of how spirituality impacts depression and other mood states, he said. People who have more daily spiritual experiences than others had lower levels of depressive symptoms and higher levels of flourishing.

The survey could be of potential use in a number of fields, including health care, he said. Religion and spirituality are increasingly recognized by health professionals as effective in helping people cope with stressors. They cant prescribe religion or spirituality, but it is perfectly feasible and ethical to ask people if they have any religious beliefs or grounding that they can turn to as a way of seeking healing and health.

Clergy and chaplains also could use the information in the survey, and some churches already have used it as a discipleship tool, Kent reported. Its relevant to anyone in pastoral care ministry because it asks people to think through the positives and negatives of their day-to-day lives.

The participants themselves said they benefitted from the two-week process, he said. We had people tell us going through the study actually cultivated awareness of Gods presence around them, or that this feels like a spiritual discipline.

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Study links daily spiritual practices to improved well-being and mental health - Baptist News Global

Brother Voodoo offers Marvel a chance to explore Black spirituality and acceptance – SYFY WIRE

Although it will be another two years before the sequel to Marvels Doctor Strange hits theaters, rumors are already beginning to circulate about new characters we may see in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. One of the most popular rumors is that Marvel fans will be introduced to another master of the mystic arts, Brother Voodoo, also known as Doctor Voodoo. Should those rumors be true, Brother Voodoos presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would open the door for audiences to see what religion and spirituality look like within the Black diaspora, while also establishing respect for traditional West African spiritual practices and religions. While the film industry is continuously improving its inclusivity of Black talent and audiences, it still has a long way to go in accurately portraying a complete picture of Blackness.

The representation and symbolism that is deeply ingrained in Brother Voodoos story and identity hopes to make visible the entirety of the Black diaspora and unlocks conversations of hope, acceptance, respect, and normalization of Black spiritual and religious practices. His background shows that he is more than just a centerpiece in the world of magic for the Marvel Universe, but also signals the need for a larger discussion on visibility for Black people, and who we are at our core.


From the time enslaved Africans were first forced onto slave ships in the 1600s to the present day, religion and spirituality have always served as essential forms of survival throughout the diaspora. Dr. Will Coleman, a Black theologist whose studies have focused on theological and historical analysis of enslaved Africans, wrote in West African Roots of African American Spirituality, that People of African descent retained elements of their original spirituality and combined them with European and Euro-American religious ideas and practices to craft a world view that provided them with resources for both survival and liberation. This can be seen in the use of Voodoo (more recentlyspelled "Vodou"), Hoodoo, Santeria, and other practices to retaliate against their slave masters, heal those around them, or to empower themselves.

What sets Brother Voodoo, whose real name is Jericho Drumm, apart from more popular Marvel magicians like DoctorStrange, Scarlet Witch, or Loki is that Vodou is not really magic at all, especially in the way that we would traditionally think about it. It is a religion that is rooted in ones relationship with their ancestors, lwas, or other deities, nature, and justice. His power does not come from an extradimensional source, but rather from the strength of his connection to his faith and fulfilling his purpose as an ougun. These same elements are present in other religious and spiritual practices that come from West Africa such as Lucum, Santeria, Brujera, Candombl, Voodoo and Hoodoo, and Yoruba.

Brother Voodoo first made his appearance in Strange Tales #169 in 1973. Born in Haiti, Jericho was an accomplished psychologist, doctor, and author who left home to pursue a college education, and to avoid the shame he felt because of his familys deep-rooted belief and practice of Vodou. Upon his return to Haiti, he found his twin brother, Daniel Drumm, who was his hometowns supreme ougun(a Vodou priest dedicated to healing the sick, protecting people, and maintaining the balance between the natural world and spirit world) lying sick on his deathbed.

After a violent encounter with Damballah the Serpent God, who is a spirit or lwa, Daniel was cursed. As he lay dying, Daniel tried to instruct his brother to find Papa Jambo, a master practitioner of Vodou and Daniels mentor, to help defeat Damballah. However, Jericho still did not believe in Vodou, and attempted to save him with modern medicine to no avail. Daniel dies, and Jericho is drowned by grief and an itch to settle the score.

When Jericho found Jambo after a dangerous journey to help save Haiti and the world from Damballahs influence, the Vodou master suggested that Jericho be Haitis new ougun, as he was fated to ascend into the role. Jericho donned his late brothers traditional garb and committed to studying Vodou under Jambo, vowing to be the best and most knowledgeable student of the craft in order to avenge his brother. In his quest to become more powerful, Jambo initiated a ritual that evoked Daniels spirit from the grave. Drawn to Jericho, Daniels spirit merged into his body. This gave Jericho white streaks of hair and a V branded into the skin between his eyebrows.


Jericho is an incredibly powerful character known for his pure heart and dedication to maintaining the equilibrium between the world of man and the world of spirits. Most magic practitioners in the Marvel Universe who routinely use magic as a tool to bend reality at their will or to get what they want (even for the sake of good). However, he is widely respected for understanding that good and evil; life and death; light and darkness exist in a balance and a cycle, and uses his powers accordingly. While the characters powers and adventures are played up to fit the world of comic books, many of the ideas and values that are central to the character are based in real-life practices of Vodou and other traditional West African spiritual practices. These practices are central to the Black experience throughout world history, which contextualizes the relationship that exists between Black identity, spirituality, and liberation today.

Before he was Brother Voodoo, though, Jericho was attempting to run from his familys relationship with Vodou an all too familiar occurrence for many Black people in real life. Rejecting Vodou or other types of spirituality is symbolic of the large push toward the assimilation of enslaved Africans in the Americas to adopt Abrahamic faiths. The result was the demonization of traditional African religions, which caused many of them to fall away from or even detest an essential aspect of their ancestry.

A lot of us had to protect ourselves by covering it up with Christian Saints or Catholic Saints instead of the Yoruba gods, or any of our traditional African religion aspects, says Veronica Carr, a 19-year-old Howard University student studying Film & TV who practices Hoodoo herself.


Many Black people are beginning to return to traditional West African-based spiritualities and forms of religion because of the recent string of sociopolitical events that have rocked the Black community within the past five to six years. This makes Brother Voodoos feature on the silver screen incredibly relevant to todays demographic of Black nerds. Black people, particularly women, are exercising their religious autonomy by choosing to center their spirituality, and feel a stronger connection to those rooted in Blackness.

I think its really great cause I think were seeing [...] kind of a renaissance, says Imani Bryant, a Howard University senior who is a practicing Christian and is currently conducting research for their senior thesis on Black and queer liberation theology. Its just really interesting to be in this moment where a lot of people are very comfortable coming back to these traditional practices and these syncretic religions because Voodoo, Vodoun, Hoodoo, Palo, and Santeria, theyre all syncretic religions with traditional West African practices, some native practices, and Christianity, so its really interesting to be in this moment.

Some Black practicing Christians still unknowingly hold remnants of the practices that were commonplace within traditional West African religions, which is another key element in recognizing contemporary Black spiritual practice within the media. This grounds Brother Voodoo in the current Black experience, and even connects him to those who may not overtly practice traditional African religions but still see some of those commonalities in their religious and spiritual practices.

Modern Christianity, the way that the captor taught the Black people is you [aren't] supposed to be doing all of that dancing. Youre not supposed to do all of that. Thats a part of our culture in praise, explains Melanie Cole, a devout Christian who has generational ties to Voodoo and Hoodoo. Dance has always been a part of us. We dance. We sing and we praise. Thats who we are.

Were always talking about people who passed on as still watching over us but we dont name it, Bryant says. So, Ive been very intentional in bringing that back to being named because I think that its really important, and it's something thats [...] really ancient within Blackness. If you go all the way back to West Africa, you see part of a lot of religions and a lot of spiritual practices in West Africa incorporated ancestor veneration as the main form of worship.

While its important to remember that Brother Voodoo is a comic book superhero and not a Christian figure, the real traditions and history of Black spirituality that shape his character and powers are a vital part of the breadth of the Black experience. Traditional West African practices have influenced comics in this way, but more importantly, theyve shaped other areas of mainstream Black religious and spiritual worship, which many people might not be aware of. Without overstating Brother Voodoos importance, the character offers a chance to expose a mass audience to this key aspect of Blackness and for Hollywood to depict it right for once.


The entertainment industry has not done a good job of recognizing Black spirituality in all its forms without mocking or dehumanizing them. Usually, film and TV portrayBlack religions as being over-sensualized, dark, demonic, exotic, or even comedic, which contributes to its general disregard and misrepresentation such as Spell (2020) starring Omari Hardwick or even Princess and the Frog (2009)starring Anika Nani Rose. Acknowledging the intersection of Black identity and spirituality, along with the historical context behind it, is the next step in the conversation of creating a holistic and complete picture of Blackness that has long been denied to us.

I think it gets convoluted just because, in that sense, nobody has done the research, nobody has taken the time to realize the gravity of what it holds for Black people as a whole,Carr states. I feel like if were going to talk about traditional African religions in media, I think, when it has been handled by white studios or white producers, that it has a tendency to not really be the true nature of what its supposed to be.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness represents a chance, should the rumors be true, for mainstream audiences to be exposed to a powerful character who represents this major facet of Blackness. If thats the case, then its upon Marvel Studios to ensure that Brother Voodoo is a responsible, faithful representation of traditional West African spiritual practices and religions. With the huge successes of Black comic book characters such as the late Chadwick Bosemans Black Panther and Mike Colters Luke Cage, we know that Marvel has the ability to create characters and build worlds that are true to the Black diaspora. In any case, Brother Voodoo remains an important character, one who deserves his time in the limelight.

Spirituality and faith are key elements of Black identity. It is past time that we have a Brother Voodoo that showcases this in an authentic way which pays respect to the struggle of our ancestors, and to the interconnected experiences of Black people all around the world. Despite attempts to deprive Black people of our humanity, and strip us of our identity through imperialism, conquest, and assimilation, Brother Voodoo symbolizes the fact that we have instead found the strength to rebirth ourselves in our faiths, and used it to find freedom and liberation.

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Brother Voodoo offers Marvel a chance to explore Black spirituality and acceptance - SYFY WIRE

Everything eco-friendly for the spiritual vibe – The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

Theyear has taught us lessons that decades havent taught us. From stopping us inour tracks due toCoronavirus to flash floods sending shockwaves across Hyderabad last week, we have learnt whywe should not mess with the environment and value what we have.

This attitude also has given many a certain spiritual vibe which may come with the newly-stemmed gratitude. We ask two Hyderabadis how to bring the spiritual vibe to Dasara this year and carry the same spirit into the rest of the year.

Rina Hindocha, a yoga expert in Hyderabad, tells us the best ways to bring in the spiritual element into our lives is to celebrate festivals in eco-friendly ways. From the Sathvik food we eat to the plates we use, we are trying to be conscious in our living, she says.


FRESH, LOCAL, HOMEMADE Dasara comes immediately after the monsoons. In this time of seasonal transition, sticking to Saatvik food - homemade, fresh, using local and vegetarian ingredients - is the best bet for your immunity. Several people take a meal of just fresh fruits and milk, which are least prone to damage or going bad.

You cant say the same about the packaged foods of the market and the toxins that it may breed over time. Secondly, for spiritual reasons, Saatvik eating is the best if you want to promote clear thinking and concentration power.

It also aids your metabolic rate and digestion power, says Rina, who is known for her agile body and her asanas. She says that food is a big part of her lifestyle and that combined with a dedicated yogic lifestyle helps her stay calm, happy and agile. Sarika suggests fasting soon after the festive feasting.

THE MAGIC CARPETWe have all have different vibes and we need to retain that to be able to amplify the divinity in our lives. Do not share your meditation pillow or your chanting bag with others. These may sound like small things, but our touch has our energy and thereforehave your personalised pooja beads, says Sarika who is a Krishna devotee.

HOMEMADE AND HANDMADE We take four lemons and tie them separately in a muslin cloth and place in all four corners to remove negativity. We light candles, earthen diyas, to bring in positive energy - play spiritual music with electronic bells like Gayatri mantra. Light incense sticks in four corners of the house at sunrise and sunset to boost the spiritual quotient of the house, says Rina.

Many people underestimate the power of their mobile phone rings. I advise all of you to change your ringtone to something pleasant and spiritual as everytime your phone rings, it brings in its own vibe. An average persons phone rings 30 times a day. If you are devotional, use a chant of your favourite god. If you are not much into prayers etc, try using a Buddhist chime/chant or even an instrumental music clipping like a morning raga. Set a new ringtone on Dasara, advises Sarika.

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Everything eco-friendly for the spiritual vibe - The New Indian Express

Chaplains and the role of spiritual care in Healthcare – The Laconia Daily Sun

PLYMOUTH In celebration of National Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week, Pemi-Baker Community Health would like to acknowledge and thank Guy Tillson, MDiv, MA for being our Hospice Chaplain, an integral part of our hospice team. This years theme is Collaborative Health Care: Chaplains Complete the Picture. By collaborating to provide holistic interdisciplinary care, our patients and families directly benefit from his presence and spiritual care services.

What a Home Care Chaplain Does

A home care chaplain is a professionally trained clergy member who supports patients and staff with spiritual and religious concerns. He or she is clinically trained to help navigate the healthcare experience. Chaplains have similar skill sets to social workers, but are specially trained to support belief systems across faiths and cultures. In order to better meet the needs of patients, chaplains receive more than 1,600 hours of training focused specifically in healthcare settings.

Chaplains act not only as spiritual counselors, but as advocates for patients and staff. Dedicated chaplains influence better decisions about care, improve clinical outcomes, and enhance staff morale. The trust they establish with patients transfers to other members of the care team, leading to better care and better outcomes.

Expert guidance during serious illness (Palliative Care) A serious illness in your family includes coping with symptoms, stress and uncertainty. The experienced team from PBCH Palliative Care provides guidance and support focused on relieving physical, emotional and spiritual suffering of the patient as well as their entire family so patients and families can enjoy life to the fullest despite the illness.

Expert guidance during lifes final months (Hospice Care) The final months of life can be more fulfilling if you or a loved one can focus on goals and wishes. The experienced team from PBCH Hospice Care will guide you with receiving expert medical care, as well as emotional and spiritual support.

Because chaplains are unbiased and part of the care team, they are valuable in providing a safe harbor and bridging difficult conversations. Guy Tillson, Chaplain at Pemi-Baker Community Health says, Our most fundamental human condition is when we come face-to-face with our own mortality. As chaplains, we walk into some dark places and help bring in light.

If you have more questions about Palliative Care, Hospice Care or what a home health Chaplain can do for you and your family, please call Pemi-Baker Community Health for more information today.

With over 50 years of experience, serving clients from 22 towns in central and northern New Hampshire, Pemi-Baker Community Health is committed to creating healthier communities. Services include at-home healthcare (VNA), hospice and palliative care, on-site physical and occupational therapy and aquatic therapy in their 90-degree therapy pool.

PBCH is located at 101 Boulder Point Drive, Plymouth, NH. To contact us please call: 603-536-2232 or email: info@pbhha.org Visit our website: http://www.pbhha.org and like our Facebook Page: @PBCH4

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Chaplains and the role of spiritual care in Healthcare - The Laconia Daily Sun

The Alchemy of Heartbreak and Hope: A Spiritual Practice for Our Time – Resilience

Keynote talk given by Jeremy Lent to The Whidbey Institute annual gala, October 2020.

When we truly open our hearts to each other, there is no burden too heavy forus to carry together, there is no pain too deep for us to hold in each others arms.And its in that placeof feeling the Earths injuries, and feeling it with each otherthat the alchemyemerges. Its in the cauldron of sharing our grief with our community, of gazing at it together and notlooking away, that the heartbreak turns to hope.

Its so wonderful to hear Tyson (Yunkaporta, author ofSand Talk) talk about how we need to listen to natural law. Its what our modern civilization needs to hear. Im sure most of us share with Tyson the sense that our society has trampled on natural law; that we live in a world where indigenous knowledge, and the things that are most valuable to life are ignored, while those that are most destructive are valued the highest.

Speaking here from Northern California, weve been sharing with Tyson and his fellow Australians the grim experience of what happens when natural law is violated. It was less than a year ago that we were all horrified by the pictures coming out of Australia of apocalyptic wildfiresfires that were estimated to have killed a billion animals in the Outback. And it was just a month ago that those of us living here in the Bay Area woke up to our own vision of doomsdaya day without daylight, as the smoke from millions of acres of wildfires raging across the northwest settled over our skies, allowing nothing but a blood red glow to penetrate.

But of course, those of you here today dont need these harbingers of doom to know that something is terribly wrong with where our world is headed. We all know, in spite of everything our media does to deflect our attention, that our global society is careening at an increasingly rapid rate toward the precipice. We know that people are suffering out there as a result of callous economic policies, that the onset of coronavirus has made that suffering even greaterand that increasing climate breakdown will only lead to deepening misery, with massive droughts and famines, and hundreds of millions of climate refugees forced to abandon their homes in desperation with no-one willing to receive them.

We know that the natural world is reeling from a relentless rampage of human exploitation. That the Amazon rainforestthe lungs of the Earthis disappearing at the rate of more than an acre a second. The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that since 1970, animal populations worldwide have declined by 68%and in Latin America, by a mind-boggling 94%. The richness of nature is getting virtually wiped out in our lifetime.

Its impossible to face these realities head on without feeling your heart break. Speaking for myself, when Ive contemplated this humanmade enormity, Ive sometimes felt swallowed up into an infinite abyss of darkness. Is it any wonder that people turn away from facing these facts, that they see one of those frightening headlines warning about climate breakdown and they click anywhere but there, read their Facebook feed, check out the latest tweet, watch the report on this weeks political scandal? We live in a world designed to keep us numba culture spiked with incessant doses of spiritual anesthesia conditioning us to deaden our feelings, and adapt to the daily grind.

But its that very heartbreak that can free us from the consensus trance that our society imposes on us. The realization of our true nature, and the agony of lifes destruction at the hands of this civilization, are two sides of the same coin. Thats because, when we awaken to our true nature as humans on this beautiful but fragile Earth, when we feel the life within ourselves that we share with all other beings, then we recognize our common identity with all of life. We live into what Thch Nht Hanh calls our interbeing.

And as we open awareness to our interbeing, our ecological self, we experience ourselves, in the words of Albert Schweitzer, as life that wills to live in the midst of life that wills to live. And then, we realize the deep purpose of our existence on Earth is to tend its living system, to tend Gaia, and participate fully in its ancient, sacred unfolding of vibrant beauty. And when we see the relentless way that beauty is being eviscerated, Gaias pain becomes our pain. Its not just happening in the forests and the deep oceans, its happening to usto our own ecological interbeing. As Thch Nht Hanh puts it, we hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.

But that pain of the Earth crying . . . its too much for any one of us to hold by ourselves. And thats where we need to turn to another equally important dimension of our interbeing: our shared community of caring. When we truly open our hearts to each other, there is no burden too heavy for us to carry together, there is no pain too deep for us to hold in each others arms.

And its in that placeof feeling the Earths injuries, and feeling it with each otherthat the alchemy emerges. Its in the cauldron of sharing our grief with our community, of gazing at it together and not looking away, that the heartbreak turns to hope.

But lets be clear what Im talking about when I use the word hope. Im not talking about the odds we might give for the likelihood of a positive outcome. Hope is not optimism. Its something completely different. Rather than a prognostication, its an attitude of active engagement in co-creating our future. In the words of Vclav Havel its a deep orientation of the human soul that can be held at the darkest times . . . an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

To work for something, just because it is good. This kind of hope is itself a transformation: from a noun to a verb. The alchemy takes place when we feel the heartbreak, with our community, so thoroughly within ourselves that there is nothing else to do but get engaged. Just like, when you feel physical pain in your body, you are moved reflexively to do something about it, so when we feel the Earths pain throughout our being, we are naturally moved to action. Because true knowledge isnt just an intellectual idea, its something that infuses our entire body. One of the great sages of Chinese thought, Wang Yangming, made this crystal clear when he said: There have never been people who know but do not act. Those who are supposed to know but do not act simply do not yet know.

And something Im sure about is that everyone here today is drawn to the Whidbey Institute because youdoknow, and youareimpelled to action. And there is so much we can be doing to participate in the Great Transformation our global society needs to move from its current self-destructive path to one that offers a brighter future. Its not just a matter of fixing a few things. Our civilization needs to be transformed at the deepest levels. We need to move from our current wealth-based society thats been built on exploitation, on seeing people and the natural world as mere resources, to one that, like Tyson said, is based on natural lawan ecological civilization. Whats required is a metamorphosis of virtually every aspect of the human experience, including our values, our goals, and our daily norms.

Sounds like a tall order? Im sure, when a dozen or so Quakers gathered in London in 1785 to create a movement to abolish slavery, people told them Impossible! Our economy is based on it. Within half a century, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. When Emmeline Pankhurst founded the National Union for Womens Suffrage in 1897, it took ten years of struggle to muster a few thousand courageous women to join her on a march in Londonbut within a couple of decades, women were gaining the right to vote across the world. There is a crucial lesson to learn from these, and other, exampleslike all self-organized, adaptive systems, society changes in nonlinear and unexpected ways. And oftentimes, the change is catalyzed by just a few, visionary souls working together against the oddsbecause they know what theyre doing is right.

We may not know what the future holds for humanity, but we do know that every day of our lives, we can choose to live into the future we wish for ourselves and for the rest of life. And just like the mycorrhizal underground network in the forest that trees use to support each other, when we connect with each other, were part of a powerful network thats accomplishing something very different than what we may read about in the daily headlines.

Keep in mind that, as the current system begins to unravel on account of its internal failings, the strands that kept the old system tightly interconnected also get loosened. The old story is losing its hold on the collective consciousness of humanity. As waves of young people come of age, they are increasingly rejecting what their parents generation told them. They are looking about for a new way to make sense of the current unraveling, for a story that offers them a future they can believe in.

That is the great work that I believe the Whidbey Institute, and many of you present here today, are engaged in. Creating that new story, and living into it, is the alchemy of heartbreak and hope that we are generating together. And I, for one, am excited to be a part of this epic moment when we, together, can participate in co-creating the possibility of humanitys flourishing future on a regenerated Earth.

Teaser photo credit: By Seabix Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65600662

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The Alchemy of Heartbreak and Hope: A Spiritual Practice for Our Time - Resilience